Patterico's Pontifications


Those Cagey Democrats

Filed under: Judiciary — Patterico @ 6:35 pm

More evidence supporting my recent predictions.

P.S. My office-mate went to a political function this weekend at which Sentators Durbin and Schumer spoke. My office-mate’s impression is that they are seriously considering voting for Roberts for exactly this reason — and that they are indeed considering filibustering the next nominee (though, of course, they don’t know who that will be).

Or Should I Say: “So, Did You Download that New Star Wars Movie, Dude”?

Filed under: Humor — Patterico @ 1:29 pm

I totally forgot that it’s International Talk Like a Pirate Day.

That’s all. Carry on.

Uhhh . . . mateys.

Good Points from Pat Leahy

Filed under: General,Judiciary — Patterico @ 6:52 am

I thought one Senate Democrat made a couple of good points during the Roberts confirmation hearings: Pat Leahy. Sen. Leahy had some meaningful things to say about the death penalty. And no, this isn’t satire, and there is no punch line.

First, he referenced the conflict between the “Rule of Four” (it takes four Justices to grant certiorari to hear an appeal in the Supreme Court) and the rule that five Justices must vote to grant a stay of execution. It has happened that men have been executed while their appeals have been accepted by (and pending before) the Supreme Court, because four Justices voted to hear the appeal, but only those same four voted for a stay of execution. Judge Roberts seemed surprised by this fact (he shouldn’t have been — it’s common knowledge among Court watchers), and said that he would be inclined to provide the fifth vote for a stay in such situations, when applicable. I think that’s the right answer.

Second, Sen. Leahy referenced memos written by Judge Roberts suggesting that the system operates well to exonerate the innocent. Sen. Leahy noted that many of the innocent people freed from Death Row have been exonerated by activists, not by the legal system. Another good point.

These are both genuine issues, and I thought it was good that they got an airing during the hearings.

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